NBA

Embiid joins exclusive NBA club, Doncic makes history as Irving returns alongside Harden and Durant

By Sports Desk January 21, 2021

Joel Embiid produced another mammoth performance to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past Eastern Conference rivals the Boston Celtics 117-109 on Wednesday.

Embiid posted 42 points and 10 rebounds – going 12 of 19 from the floor in Philadelphia, where the three-time NBA All-Star scored 22 points in the first half.

Returning to action following knee soreness, Embiid topped 40 points for the second time in three games as he joined Bradley Beal as the only NBA players with multiple such performances.

There is only one other instance where a Sixers player had a 40 and 10 game on one or fewer turnovers since the three-point era – Embiid himself in 2019.

Luka Doncic recorded another triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Indiana Pacers 124-112 to snap a three-game losing streak.

Doncic put up 13 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for his fifth triple-double of the season – tied for the most alongside Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic – and 30th of his career.

The 22-year-old is the youngest player to reach 30 career triple-doubles, while he is the second-fastest in terms of games played (146), eclipsing Magic Johnson (190) but behind Oscar Robertson (75).

 

Irving stars on return but Sexton outshines Nets trio

After a seven-game absence due to personal reasons, Kyrie Irving had 37 points in the Brooklyn Nets' 147-135 double overtime loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Durant led the Nets with 38 points and 12 rebounds, and fellow superstar James Harden finished with a triple-double of 21 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. However, Collin Sexton's 42 points lifted the Cavaliers past Brooklyn's 'Big Three'.

Clint Capela had 27 points and a career-high 26 rebounds for the Atlanta Hawks, who outlasted the Detroit Pistons 123-115 in overtime. Trae Young scored 38 points and John Collins registered 31 points, while Detroit's Jerami Grant posted a career-high 32 points.

 

Lowry's shooting woes

While collecting 10 rebounds and tallying seven assists, Kyle Lowry was far from his best in the Toronto Raptors' 111-102 loss to the Miami Heat. Lowry was just two-of-12 from the field, while he made just one of 10 shots from three-point range for eight points in 36 minutes.

 

Anthony on the buzzer!

Cole Anthony did it all at the death. He grabbed the rebound and ran the length of the court before sinking the buzzer-beating shot to lift the Orlando Magic past the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-96.

Wednesday's results

Cleveland Cavaliers 147-135 Brooklyn Nets (OT)
Dallas Mavericks 124-112 Indiana Pacers
Philadelphia 76ers 117-109 Boston Celtics
Atlanta Hawks 123-115 Detroit Pistons (OT)
Miami Heat 111-102 Toronto Raptors
Orlando Magic 97-96 Minnesota Timberwolves
Phoenix Suns 109-103 Houston Rockets
Golden State Warriors 121-99 San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Clippers 115-96 Sacramento Kings
Washington Wizards-Charlotte Hornets (postponed)
Portland Trail Blazers-Memphis Grizzlies (postponed)

 

Lakers at Bucks

LeBron James and defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers (11-4) travel to face Giannis Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks (9-5) on Thursday. Both teams are coming off losses.

Related items

  • Australian Open: Collins swats Swiatek aside to reach first grand slam final Australian Open: Collins swats Swiatek aside to reach first grand slam final

    Danielle Collins will face home favourite Ash Barty in her first grand slam final at the Australian Open after dispatching Iga Swiatek in straight sets.

    Playing in only her second major semi-final at the age of 28, an assured Collins rose to the occasion to win 6-4 6-1 in dominant fashion on Rod Laver Arena.

    The 27th seed from the United States was beaten by Petra Kvitova in the last four of the first grand slam of the year at Melbourne Park three years ago, but she was not to be denied on this occasion.

    Swiatek was unable to become the first Polish woman to reach the final of this tournament, struggling with her serve from the start as her bid to win a second grand slam title came to a halt and Collins booked a showdown with world number one Barty on Saturday.

    Collins capitalised on a shaky start from the 2020 French Open champion, breaking when the seventh seed sprayed a forehand long after double-faulting in a poor first service game.

    An aggressive Collins was a double-break up at 3-0 after her out-of-sorts opponent drilled a backhand wide, but Swiatek sprung into life, winning back-to-back games to reduce the deficit to 4-2.

    Swiatek trailed 5-2 after being broken for a third time as she struggled with her second serve and although Collins failed to serve out the set at the first attempt, she made no mistake second time around after firing down two aces.

    The Florida native was in the zone, staying on her feet during changeovers, and she struck another blow by breaking in the first game of the second set with a cross-court backhand winner.

    Swiatek's frustration mounted as her service woes continued, Collins near flawless with her backhand a potent weapon as she broke again to lead 3-0.

    The ice-cool world number 30 showed not a hint of nerves, finishing off the job with another break after earning two match points with a glorious forehand winner and forcing a backhand error from Swiatek to move into the final.

    DATA SLAM: Imperious Collins a class apart as Swiatek is let down by her serve

    While Collins was at her very best in a brilliant performance, Swiatek looked like she did not know what had hit her.

    Swiatek won only three of the 21 points behind her tentative second serve after landing only 60 per cent of her first serves in, and the 20-year-old fell into the trap of feeding Collins' dangerous backhand far too often.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

    Collins – 27/13
    Swiatek – 12/13

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

    Collins – 7/4
    Swiatek – 1/4

    BREAK POINTS WON

    Collins – 6/10
    Swiatek – 2/3

  • Australian Open: Barty moves into final as fairy tale remains alive in Melbourne Australian Open: Barty moves into final as fairy tale remains alive in Melbourne

    Ash Barty continued her fairy-tale run at the Australian Open, crushing Madison Keys to become the first local woman to reach the singles final in 42 years.

    The two-time grand slam champion continued her impressive form at Melbourne Park with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Keys on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

    Barty, the world number one, became the first Australian woman to reach the singles final at the tournament since Wendy Turnbull in 1980.

    She can become the first to win the title since Chris O'Neil in 1978 when she faces either Danielle Collins or Iga Swiatek in Saturday's final, which she will undoubtedly start as favourite.

    Barty has dropped just 21 games on her way to the decider and the reigning Wimbledon champion was again ruthless against Keys, who lost her fourth grand slam semi-final in five such appearances.

    The 25-year-old Barty settled well and broke the Keys serve in the opening game.

    A powerful forehand created the opportunity before she delivered a cross-court winner off that wing to convert following a Keys drop shot.

    Barty only made two first serves in her opening two service games yet did not lose a point.

    Spurred on by a hopeful and enthusiastic home crowd, Barty's variety and depth – plus nine unforced errors in five games from Keys – helped her race into a 4-1 lead.

    Keys finally won a point against the Barty serve in the sixth game, the Australian forced to save a break point before sealing the opening set in 26 minutes courtesy of a forehand return winner down the line.

    The first real signs of nerves from Barty came in the fifth game of the second set, but she dug out a tough hold for 3-2.

    Keys had settled, but Barty grabbed the break she was after in the sixth game with back-to-back forehand winners.

    Barty looked calm throughout and that did not change as she served out the match in style, booking a spot in the final with a forehand winner.

    DATA SLAM: Brilliant Barty on verge of ending Aussie wait

    Barty has already ended one long wait – an Australian reaching the women's singles final at Melbourne Park.

    She is a win away from ending another by becoming the first Australian winner of the men's or women's singles title in 44 years.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Barty – 20/13
    Keys – 8/24

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Barty – 5/0
    Keys – 1/1

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Barty – 4/6
    Keys – 0/2

  • Giannis admits Cavs deserves greater respect after dominant Bucks win Giannis admits Cavs deserves greater respect after dominant Bucks win

    Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo thinks the Cleveland Cavaliers deserve more respect after their impressive defeat of the reigning champions.

    The Cavs moved to 30-19 for the season, with eight wins from their past nine games, thanks to a dominant 115-99 home victory over the Bucks.

    Cleveland have already comfortably surpassed their win total from last season, when they claimed just 22 victories and were in the draft lottery for the third year running, and only one side in the Eastern Conference has won more than their 30 games in 2021-22.

    After falling behind in the first quarter, they dominated the middle phase of Thursday's game, beginning the second half with a three-pointer triple in 48 seconds before marching into a 93-72 lead.

    Giannis tallied 26 points, nine rebounds and three assists on his return from a knee problem but his efforts were not enough.

    Last year's Finals MVP said there is little doubt the Cavs are now contenders not just for the playoffs, but for the title.

    "This is not the Cleveland we knew over the past few years," said Giannis, who brought chicken wings to his post-game media conference.

    "They have a good team, and we have to respect them more. They're a playoff team and are fighting for the title themselves."

    Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of arguably their best win of the season: "It's who we are. We take on all challenges.

    "We don't run from anybody. We don't back down. We give everybody our best shot."

    Counterpart Mike Budenholzer had few complaints about the result, adding of the Cavs: "They played lights out tonight.

    "I don't know what the right analogy is, but they played really well. They beat us pretty good.

    "Live ball turnovers is when transition defense is the toughest, and we made a lot of them."

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